In the last month of 2021, Argentina has recorded a total oil output of around 559,000 barrels per day (BPD), thus reaching the highest production for the country over the past nine years, it was reported Thursday.
According to the Energy Ministry, the total production of crude oil increased by 14% yoy in December 2021, driven mainly by Vaca Muerta's performance, an unconventional gigantic hydrocarbon deposit in the province of Neuquén, where 232 wells were drilled last year.
The Ministry also highlighted the “strong presence” of unconventional oil, with 212,000 bpds produced daily, a year-on-year increase of nearly 64%. Unconventional oil accounted for 38% of all Argentine production in December 2021.
Energy Secretary Darío Martínez said these results were due to the clear rules and predictability set by the administration of President Alberto Fernández.
“When a country produces more, it generates more jobs, more SMEs open their doors and join the sector, we develop more added value and more national technology; all key aspects for the economic reactivation that we are going through,”said Martínez in a statement.
He also explained oil production was on the rise throughout the national territory until it exceeds pre-pandemic levels: in December 2021, production exceeded the figures for February 2020 by 6%, while the production of unconventional oil advanced 69% compared to that month.
Energy authorities also reported that a total new 276 new oil wells were drilled in 2021 in the province of Neuquén, mainly by YPF, Shell and Pan American Energy. Of the total number of wells, 232 were in Vaca Muerta, which concentrates most of the work of the oil companies that operate in the region, with a total 1,789 active wells.
Neuquén's Undersecretary of Energy, Mining and Hydrocarbons also specified that 17 conventional wells were drilled in addition to 27 others in tight sand formations, which leaves a total balance of 259 unconventional wells.
Seeing these advances in productivity tells us about the improvement in the efficiency of companies in recent times, placing Neuquén's hydrocarbon resources as the best in the country,” Neuquén's Energy Minister Alejandro Monteiro said.
The provincial data also showed September of 2021 had been the most prolific month, with a total of 48 wells drilled, while in December alone, 25 new wells were drilled, of which 23 were unconventional and 2 conventional.